There are several movers and shakers in business, politics and media.
While several thump their chests about it, many do not, preferring to quietly focus on deep work in order to get more done, competing with oneself rather than others, blurring the lines between work and personal life, not because of the volume of work involved, but rather because the man or the woman and his or her work is one and the same, extensions of one’s personality traits and characteristics rather than isolated parts that switch on and off on a whim.
As humanity surges forward like it always has, from occupying a remote corner of East Africa two and a half million years ago to formulating visions of becoming an intergalactic species, one cannot help but think about progress made, especially from the seventies and eighties onwards when multiple scientific principles coalesced to give rise to great ideas and products. Quite often, founders, visionaries and future CXOs found themselves laying the foundation of a new world built on new technologies that would be faster, nimbler and more efficient than ever before.
Many winners and losers are being created everyday.
Yet, there is always the next chance. No matter how fallen one is, one can always get up. Must get up. Because, after all, what is it about the struggle that brings out the best in each one of us? Necessity is the mother of invention and going by today’s story about Epiance Software, we are left with no doubt that it is the combination of mind, body and spirit that brings out the best in us.
All one needs to do is seek and ask. Help shall be given.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Epiance is the leading provider of enterprise software that helps companies manage their IT-driven business process transformations successfully. Epiance’s most well-known “Epiplex500” Suite delivers a unique combination of Technologies including Automated Process Documentation & Process Discovery with the ability to produce accurate and seamless documents including Process or Software Design Documents, Process Metrics, Workflow Outputs along with solutions for Seamless Knowledge Transfer & On-Boarding, Process Improvement and Analysis Capabilities that reduce costs, increase productivity and improve business performance.
Epiance with its 2 decades of experience has evolved into a world class process science tool, with a worldwide network of business partners and 900+ global customers. Epiance continues to be an innovative technology company that has created disruptive patented products & platforms that can enable easier, faster and less cost consuming assimilation of IT applications with end users.
Vision of Epiance: Empowering people and business process performance through innovations and breakthrough technologies.
Mission of Epiance: Our mission is to be a leading technology and solution provider in the area of business process management. We deliver high value and unique solutions that gives a competitive edge to our customers across the world.
We deliver value to customers, understand their needs and ensure they get the best value for their investment. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.
We value and expect integrity and transparency in all our actions.
We are determined to build a culture that is based on performance, equality, openness, enthusiasm and creativity.
We value our employees, customers and vendors equally. We treat everyone with Humaneness, professionalism and fairness.
Innovation is the cornerstone of our company. We are proud to be pioneers and forerunners. We bring new ideas in every area and endeavor.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I had created a unique software for optimizing pipe networks while at IIT Chennai. So I started the worlds’ first SAAS model way back in 1986-1987 to offer these solutions to organizations. One thing led to another and I realized that I have a talent to predict breakthrough and disruptive technologies well before time. The inevitable result- I became an entrepreneur. Since then, I have been involved in multiple startups and latest avatar- Epiance was a passion to improve the man – machine interface which was in its infancy in the late 80s-90s. The operational paradigm of a man and a machine are so distinct and diverse, that their inflection creates dissonance and a not so seamless delivery. A small team of us foresaw that more than technology and infrastructure, end user adoption will be the key challenge that will come in the way of widespread IT adoption. Today over 60% of IT projects fail because of poor end user adoption. Our technology dramatically enhances adoption, empowers end users and facilitates holistic adoption of technology.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I completed B Tech from IIT Chennai in 1985 and except for an initial stint of 2 years, I have been an entrepreneur. Like I said before, ever since I can remember I wanted to be an entrepreneur, being my own boss, create solutions without boundaries, have the freedom to do what is right and create innovation and breakthroughs. I have always been a person with grandiose ideas. Small ideas, mediocrity bore me, I want to create something meaningful, sustainable and leave a mark in the world. Becoming an entrepreneur was a natural consequence of having such strong beliefs.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We are based in Bangalore. Silicon Valley of India and that sounds like a perfect place for a technology company like Epiance.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
I have stopped being paranoid , ever since I became a part of Aashwasan, a spiritual science organization. I look forward to each and every day at work. In fact the distinction between work and home has blurred. When you learn to give your 100% no matter what it is, you just flow with the moment. Apprehensions and anxieties are a part of life, but I have never allowed them to get the better of me.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
We offer a niche suite of products making us unique in what we offer to our customers. Our solutions are so broad ranging that no one competitor offers a similar breadth of solutions. In pockets and for specific solutions we have competition- SAP Enable Now, Kron etc.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
It was a challenge in the beginning of my career , but now work and personal life melds into one another. I don’t even realize where one starts and the other ends. I think if you are passionate about whatever you do and are not driven by external parameters of success, fame, name, wealth etc, one can lead a seamless life unblemished by the canker of greed, excessive ambition and competition that bedevils today’s business community. Though I do have plans, I allow myself to be embraced by the sensibility of the current moment and give it a free hand to drive me wherever I need to be. This experience is indeed empowering and liberating.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We are completely self-funded right from the beginning. In the initial days we did attract some funding, but quickly moved out of the VC and ever since have based ourselves on rock solid fundamentals- Make money and then grow (not the other way around).
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Since I am what I appear it to be, the blunt honesty and straightforwardness can be disconcerting for some individuals. When one lacks suaveness , but prefers to trade it for authenticity, there is bound to be social friction. As I am unconcerned by my image, I do not feel constricted and feel absolutely comfortable doing the right thing no matter what the perceived image or expectation might be. This does put off some people, it has also attracted many and bound us as a tight team. So on the whole I like the way I am and realize very clearly that you cannot win over all.
What gets you excited about this company?
Innovation, creating an innovative organization, a unique organization that is based on authenticity and trust. I want people to compete not with others but with oneself. If one can become a better version every day of one’s life and show that in their actions, beauty and absolute genius is bound to exist ubiquitously. I relish creating such a unique culture in the organization. I would like to create an environment where integrity thrives and people look forward to coming to work every day of the week. It is indeed a thrilling experience when you are on the path to create an absolutely unique organization in the world.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I am not a very early person- get up at 7.30AM, do my exercise , make a few calls and head out to work. Evenings are spent relaxing- reading, communicating with family, solving some puzzles. I do not take too many calls from home and I do not encourage a maniacal work schedule.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Most of my people have been with me, since I started the company 18 years back. People consider our company as an extension of a family. We have been through very rough times, but most of us stayed together supporting each other through the difficult patch. Many outsiders are bewildered to see such low levels of attrition , given the fact that we are in the cutting edge of technology. I attribute to my good fortune and count it as a blessing.